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Even with low snow levels, ski mountaineering can be a go

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

With a winter like this, you’ve got to get creative. While snowfall sits at below average across Colorado and the country, mountain biking may be calling. But at San Juan Huts we’re thinking ski mountaineering. Because snowpack is so low, summiting some of the  Mount Sneffels Range peaks might just be more attainable.

From Burn Hut, Corbett Peak can be accessed, from North Pole Hut, Hayden Peak can be reached, and from Blue Lakes Hut, Reconnoiter Peak and Wolcott Mountain can be bagged. Low snow levels are making it a little easier to access.

According to the National Resources Conservation Service, Colorado’s snowpack is 71 percent of its average. This winter marks the fourth lowest snowfall level to fall in the past three decades. So while we pray for snow, get out and explore safely.

How to stay healthy at high elevation

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Traveling to altitude over the holidays? What’s the best way to acclimate? High altitude sickness can ruin a trip or a trek and the Institute for Altitude Medicine Director Dr. Peter Hackett offers wise words on the subject. A couple tips: caffeine is not a problem and Gingko can be a remedy. Check out the IFAM website.

Institute for Altitude Medicine

What’s in your pack?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

 

When ski touring, maybe as critical as what’s in your head, is what’s in your pack. Genuine Guide Gear, G3, recently released its list of top ten backcountry touring essentials. In addition to the most critical pieces of equipment–a digital, three antennae beacon, quickly deploying and user-friendly probe pole, and sharply edged shovel–G3 offered a list of other important things to carry in your pack.

1. extra food (energy bars) in addition to your lunch

2. lighter

3. knife

4. headlamp

5. SPOT satellite GPS messenger

6. extra down jacket

7. extra water

Chech out skis and SJHS’s booth

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
San Juan Hut Systems will be at the Durango Ski Swap tomorrow (Saturday the 5th). We will be selling 10-night punch cards for $100 off and gift certificates, as well as answering any questions you may have. The Swap is held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 8-4. For more info on the Swap call 970.317.1782. Come buy and check out the gear and our booth….we may even have snacks.

Canadian Geographic

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Check out this article on the ski huts in Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine. We spent a great week skiing with the author, Bruce Kirkby, last winter. We started at the North Pole Hut and traversed all the way to Ridgway, stopping along the way to get great big turn days above the huts. We thoroughly enjoyed Bruce’s company and hope you enjoy this article. Look for the article to appear in the Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine’s November Issue.

Gear Advice: Backcountry Goods for Springtime Temps

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Here are some things you may want to bring next time you head out on a spring tour.

1) Swix F-4 Past. This product is great to prevent warm wet snow from building up on the bottom of you skis and can turn a slow decent into a fast fun one. F-4 can also be used on skins if they become saturated. We recommend the variety that comes in a can and to bring a bandanna or small sponge as the applicators that come with them quickly wear out.

2) Skin Wax. We recommend applying skin wax before your skins get saturated by warm wet snow.  If it is too late for that, try drying your skins a little  in the sun while you take a lunch break and then aply it.

3) Cotton bandanna. This can be quite helpful drying skis before you put your skins on as most of our material these days are synthetic or wool and do not dry ski bases efficiently.

4) Last but not least, sunhat, sunscreen, and dark sunglasses. One product we particularly like is Dermatone SPF that comes in a tin. It is great for lips, noses, or your whole face. Owner, Joe Ryan, has been using it for years and calls it “bear grease” and smears it on his whole face. He finds it helps prevent both wind and sunburn. Make sure you get the tin as the sticks don’t work nearly as well.